Asparagus in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Asparagus is best known as a green vegetable, although it also comes in white and purple varieties.
Green asparagus is most often served steamed or boiled with either melted butter, hollandaise sauce or chilled with a vinegarette.
The white variety of asparagus is especially prized in Belgium, Holland and Germany (where it is called spargel). It is white from being grown underground. It is usually served with a creamy white sauce. Several German cities have white asparagus festivals and demand is so high that Germany is unable to grow enough domestically to satisfy demand.
Very young and thin sprigs of asparagus are known as sprue asparagus. They tend to be cheaper than fully developed asparagus and can be tricky to cook - we find they are best grilled.
Most people who eaten asparagus before know that one of its chief properties is flavoring the urine of the consumer, although a large number of people are unable to detect the smell (which is caused by a sulfur by product in asparagus).
Peru is the largest exporter of asparagus worldwide.